Oftana, Quinahan clutch as NLEX edges Phoenix in OT

NLEX showed poised down the stretch and eked out a 114-108 victory against Phoenix in overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday, June 30 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Calvin Oftana (PBA)

Calvin Oftana, who hit a game-tying three which enabled the overtime, led the Road Warriors and flirted with a triple-double performance of 22 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists while JR Quinahan posted 21 points and four assists as NLEX improved to a 4-2 record.

Three other NLEX players scored double digits in Kevin Alas, Don Trollano, and Justin Chua who had 18, 17, and 12 points, respectively.

After squandering an early 23-7 lead in the first quarter, Phoenix fought back and bucked its slow start until the game saw a nip-and-tuck affair down to last three minutes as Larry Muyang sank a pair of free throws en route to a 105-deadlock.

Don Trollano and JR Quinahan connived for four straight points for a 109-105 lead before RJ Jazul pumped life for Phoenix with a crucial three-pointer with 43 seconds left.

Another hero for NLEX in Quinahan, who shot 8-of-13 from the field including three triples, shone bright in crunch time and hit the dagger from beyond the arc with 27 ticks to go.

In the ensuing play, Oftana provided a key defensive stop which led to a Javee Mocon turnover as Trollano iced the game with a pair of free throws.

Earlier, the win was already within the grasp of the Fuel Masters after Muyang hit two free throws for a three-point lead, 103-100, but Oftana fired the game-tying shot with 2.4 seconds left in regulation off a Kevin Alas dish to send the game in overtime.

Matthew Wright paced the Fuel Masters with 19 points and eight assists, Tyler Tio chalked up 18 points built on three treys, while Sean Anthony and Muyang scored 17 points and combined for 19 rebounds.

Phoenix, for its part, fell to a 2-5 slate.